The 9th Psychological Operations Battalion (Airborne)

SGM Herbert A. Friedman (Ret.)

9thPOBCrest03.GIF (16373 bytes)

DISTINCTIVE UNIT INSIGNIA

Description: A gold color metal and enamel device 1 1/8 inches in height overall consisting of a gold disc bearing on each side red circular segments projecting towards center, and overall three isosceles triangles constructed within each other throughout: white, with point up within gray, point down within black, point up extending over the disc and charged with three gold oblongs (heraldic billets); four red flashes radiant from the latter triangle, two each at the top and base, projecting over and dividing a black looped scroll inscribed in gold letters:

Win the Mind – Win the Day

Symbolism: The colors white, gray and black refer to the types of propaganda utilized in the psychological operations mission of the Battalion. White propaganda is acknowledged and truthful. Grey is not acknowledged but no attempt is made to hide the origin and may or may not be truthful. Black propaganda is never acknowledged, may appear to come from other sources and is seldom truthful. The triangle, symbolic of support, indicates the support operations. It is also the Pythagorean symbol from wisdom. The triangles each within the other allude to the mind which is considered the complex of man’s faculties. The Unit’s motto pertains to its significance. The gold billets indicative of leaflets, together with the flashes, refer to the production and disseminating of audio and visual propaganda. They also suggest the Organization’s origin as a Loudspeaker and Leaflet Company. The Battalion’s activation in the Canal Zone is depicted by the gold area of the disc narrowed by the red, indicative of the Isthmus of Panama as suggested by the historic Panama Canal Department shoulder sleeve insignia. In the symbolism of numbers, the numerical designation of the Battalion represents a triple synthesis here depicted by the three triangles.

9thPOBCOA2.JPG (118604 bytes)

COAT OF ARMS

Shield: Dark green and silver gray are the colors associated with Psychological Operations. White, gray and black refers to the gradation and types of propaganda utilized in the psychological operations mission. The triangle, symbolic of support, indications its support operations. It is also the Pythagorean symbol for wisdom. The triangles, each within the other, allude to the mind, which is considered the complex of man’s faculties, and highlight the unit’s motto. The gold billets, indicative of leaflets, together with the flashes refer to the production and dissemination of audio and visual propaganda and suggest the organization’s origin as a Loudspeaker and Leaflet Company. The battalion’s activation in the Canal Zone is depicted by the gold area of the disc narrowed by red, indicative of the Isthmus of Panama (as suggested by the Panama Canal Department shoulder sleeve insignia). In the symbolism of numbers, the numerical designation of the battalion represents a triple synthesis, here depicted by three triangles.

9thPOBRecruitingPoster.jpg (237957 bytes)

9th PSYOP Battalion Recruiting Poster

The 9th Psychological Operations Battalion (POB) was first subordinate to the 4th PSYOP Group, but in 2011 became a subordinate unit of the 8th Psychological Operations Group. The 9th Psychological Operations Battalion (POB) is the Tactical Support Battalion for the 8th PSYOP Group. Tactical PSYOP is that associated with “face-to- face” operations in support of maneuver units within the theater and the designated area of operations. Tactical PSYOP Planning elements are available to each supported tactical echelon brigade combat team to corps headquarters. The smallest tactical organization is the Tactical PSYOP Team (TPTs), routinely found in support of conventional Army brigades or special operations battalions. These elements enable tactical commanders to communicate directly with the enemy and foreign civilians. Tactical PSYOP elements disseminate products normally developed by the regional battalions or by the Psychological Operation Task Force (POTF) The 9th POB has worldwide responsibility for all short-notice rapid deployment tactical PSYOP/information support requirements with organic light product development, loudspeaker (helicopters and vehicles), and electronic news gathering capabilities.

8thpogOrgDiagTest.jpg (43588 bytes)

8th PSYOP Group (Airborne)

The 8th PSYOP Group (Airborne), is one of the two PSYOP Groups in the active Army force structure. Its mission is to deploy anywhere in the world on short notice, and plan, develop and conduct PSYOP in support of the unified commanders, coalition forces, or other government agencies, as directed by the President and the Secretary of Defense.

The 8th PSYOP Group continues to provide PSYOP in support of named and classified operations to include Operations Sword of Honor, Enduring Freedom, Inherent Resolve, and Freedom Sentinel with more than 115 Soldiers deployed to more than 15 countries in the U.S. South Command, Africa Command, Pacific Command and Central Command areas of responsibility. These deployed Soldiers provide PSYOP expertise to Special Operations Forces, combatant commanders, U.S. Embassies and other government agencies throughout the world. The Soldiers are employing their expertise at the national, strategic and operational levels in support of the National Commands’ communication strategy.

On Oct. 1, 2006, PSYOP became an official branch within the United States Army, and in 2011 the Department of the Army established the 8th PSYOP Group (Airborne). In September of 2014, the 8th POG became a subordinate unit of the 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne).

Tactical PSYOP is that associated with "face-to- face" operations in support of maneuver units within the theater and is conducted by the Corps PSYOP Support Element (CPSE), Division PSYOP Support Element (DPSE), Brigade PSYOP Support Elements (BPSE) and by Tactical PSYOP Teams (TPTs). These elements enable tactical commanders to communicate directly with the enemy and foreign civilians.

Tactical PSYOP elements disseminate products normally developed by the regional battalions or by the Psychological Operation Task Force (POTF). The 9th POB has worldwide responsibility for all tactical assets including loudspeakers, helicopters and vehicles.

Training

SP4JarodDelhotal9thPOB.JPG (252039 bytes)

Loudspeaker Training

Specialist Jarod Delhotal, a psychological operations specialist assigned to Company B, 9th PSYOP Battalion, operates a portable loudspeaker as he broadcasts messages in Russian to role players in the “Military Operations in Urban Terrain” city at Ft. Bragg, NC. Delhotal and three other Soldiers were at the range participating in a weeklong assessment and selection course for assignment to Tactical PSYOP Detachment 940, which provides direct PSYOP support to the 75th Ranger Regiment. Missions at the range's MOUT site included a village assessment and combat loudspeaker operations. Five candidates spent the week in tough physical and mental trials while vying for spots in the detachment. TPD 940 is assigned to Company B, 9th Battalion, 8th PSYOP Group (Airborne).

PSYOP units constantly train on their wartime skills. We depict some pictures of 9th Battalion Units training in both military and PSYOP skills around the world.

HUMVEE9thPOBDoha.JPG (32976 bytes)

A Loudspeaker Humvee

A HUMVEE from Company C, 9th Psychological Operations Battalion, broadcasts a surrender message at Camp Doha, Kuwait, in February 2003 during a training exercise.

ECompany9thPOBHumvees.jpg (82152 bytes)

Preparing to fire “Ma Deuce”

Echo Company, 9th PSYOP Battalion Tactical PSYOP Teams prepare to fire their mounted 50 caliber machine-gun on the firing line.

9thPOBInstallingLSontoHumvee.jpg (149732 bytes)

Preparing the Humvee

9th PSYOP Battalion members prepare a Humvee installing a speaker system on the roof.

CheetahSattelite.JPG (64672 bytes)

Demonstrating a Satellite Dish

Staff Sergeant Jason Bryant of the 9th PSYOP Battalion adjusts the Cheetah telecommunications satelite dish at the U.S. Army Special Operations Command exhibit during the AUSA Annual Meeting and Exposition.  The portable dish is used for voice communication and to transmit data -- including print materials -- to and from remote sites.

TPT9thPOBCampButner.jpg (324962 bytes)

A tactical psychological operations team from the 9th Military Information Support Battalion broadcasts an emergency message during civil support training at Camp Butner, N.C., March 19, 2016. (Photo: Spc. Jeremie Lee)

History

The 9th POB was first constituted 14 April 1952 in the Regular Army as the 9th Loudspeaker and Leaflet Company. It was redesignated 22 March 1963 as the 9th Psychological Warfare Company and activated 1 April 1963 in the Panama Canal Zone. It was reorganized and redesignated 1 April 1967 as the 9th Psychological Operations Battalion and later inactivated 31 December 1974 in the Panama Canal Zone. It was activated once again on 15 April 1985 at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. On 23 March 2010, E Company, a tactical psychological operations company, was activated. This made the 9th Psychological Operations Battalion the largest such battalion in the US Army at that time. Many of the soldiers in the new company had spent 14 months in the ranks of Charlie Company, 1st PSYOP Battalion, where they provided tactical PSYOP support to the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force- Afghanistan.

In 1990, the Battalion became responsible for tactical psychological operations worldwide, becoming the tactical support battalion for the 4th Psychological Operations Group (Airborne). The unit subsequently participated in Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm, being awarded campaign streamers for Defense of Saudi Arabia and Liberation and Defense of Kuwait.

Operation Desert Shield/Storm

SouthwestAsiaRibbon02.JPG (17595 bytes)DefenseofSaudiArabiaRibbon.PNG (4386 bytes)LiberationDefenseKuwaitRibbon01.PNG (54792 bytes)

IraqiSurrenderGW04a.jpg (23617 bytes)

Iraqi soldiers surrender

At about 0200 on 2 August 1990, seven divisions of Iraqi armor, mechanized infantry, helicopter forces, and the elite Republic Guard invaded Kuwait. The invasion force of 120,000 troops and 2,000 tanks quickly overwhelmed Kuwait. Curiously, the buildup had been noted by U. S. satellites and intelligence forces, but nobody in the Pentagon believed that Hussein would attack and occupy a fellow Arab county. Even other Arab leaders refused to believe it, claiming that no Arab country would attack and occupy a brother-Arab country. The military and intelligence leaders believed that it was just the latest in a series of Iraqi bluffs and posturing near the Kuwait border.

On 3 August Kuwait Radio broadcast slogans, appeals and patriotic songs. The last thing they broadcast was the following appeal:

In the name of God, the compassionate, the merciful. This is Kuwait. O Arabs, O brothers, O beloved brothers, O Muslims, your brothers in Kuwait are appealing to you. Hurry to their aid.

American Secretary of Defense Cheney met with King Fahd of Saudi Arabia on 7 August. As a result of that meeting, the 82nd Airborne Division and several U. S. A. F. fighter squadrons were permitted to deploy to Saudi Arabia for the protection of the Kingdom.

On 20 August 1990, President Bush signed National Security Directive 45, the “U.S. Policy in Response to the Iraqi Invasion of Kuwait." The U.S. objectives included the “immediate, complete, and unconditional withdrawal of all Iraqi forces from Kuwait,” and the “restoration of Kuwait's legitimate government to replace the puppet regime installed by Iraq.”

Jeffrey B. Jones and Jack N. Summe mention the 9th PSYOP Battalion in “Psychological Operations in Desert Shield, Desert Storm and Urban Freedom” Landpower Essay Series, August 1997.

Within days of the Iraqi invasion, Arabic-speaking tactical PSYOP loudspeaker teams from the battalion were deployed with the initial elements of the 82nd Airborne Division. A team of military and civilian PSYOP specialists, led by the 4th PSYOP Group Commander, traveled to MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, to begin development of a strategic PSYOP plan for the Commander in Chief, U.S. Central Command (USCINCCENT). Initial product development began for both operational and tactical PSYOP as well as preparations for the deployment of the regionally-oriented 8th PSYOP Battalion, the purely tactical 9th PSYOP Battalion supplementing XVIII Airborne Corps, and all the print, radio, television and communications capabilities of the 4th PSYOP Group. By late August, the team had Central Command's approval on 64 strategic initiatives which were in tum forwarded to Washington for inter-agency review and approval.

LoudspeakerX007.JPG (186886 bytes)

A loudspeaker equipped Humvee

Frank L Goldstein and Benjamin F. Findley Jr. mention loudspeaker operations in Psychological Operations – Principals and Case Studies, Air University Press, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, 1996:

The following account by Staff Sergeant Edward Fivel, 9th PSYOP Battalion, illustrates the operation of his loudspeaker team and its unusual effectiveness.

We had to convince the company commander of our parent unit to let us PSYOP people try ousting those Iraqi soldiers from their underground bunker. We kept telling him there was nothing to lose by trying, especially since the pounding all morning by the 101st Airborne Division hadn't done anything.

So the three of us gave it a try. We arranged for the Blackhawk helicopter to ride us to the site of the bunker and we began dropping surrender leaflets. Then we returned to base and found that nothing had happened-no surrenders, no movement, nothing.

We tried something else. We hopped back on the Blackhawk and returned to the bunker area, this time intending to use our loudspeaker system and a taped message from headquarters. We picked a spot on the ground about 800 meters from the bunker and started broadcasting. Nothing happened. I guess we couldn't be heard over the loud racket of our helicopter.

We asked the pilot to land us on the ground not too far from the bunker. With what you might call serious reservations, he eventually landed us, feeling a little protected, I guess, by the three Apaches and one Blackhawk whopping above our heads and to our right. He took off immediately, saying he'd stay in contact by radio.

The three of us were now on the ground. We were facing this enemy bunker that Intelligence says has 20 enemy soldiers who might be waiting to greet us. We picked up our loudspeaker equipment - the transmitter and the speaker - and ran about 200 meters closer to the bunker. We sat the equipment down and again started playing the cassette surrender tapes. Still no movement.

Then our team leader decided to lift up the speaker. He lifted it and began carrying it even closer to the bunker. He carried that speaker exactly 50 more meters. I knew the distance because that's the length of the electrical cord he stretched out to the end, 50 meters. The team leader was very close to the enemy now.

Then he suddenly stood straight up and pushed the speaker high over his head [like some kind of statue showing a big trophy to a crowd far away]. I told the other guy back with me watching all this, our communications man, to quit playing the taped message and go live, and to keep doing it. The guy had just gotten out of language school, so he could handle the Iraq language pretty well. He talked loudly through the speaker in four message sets.

That worked. A crackling voice came through our radio from the helicopter pilot who was still hanging up there with us. The pilot had spotted some movement. Then we saw Iraq soldiers begin climbing out of the bunker in front of our team leader. They were waving little white flags and carrying no weapons.

That was about it for us in that scene because our pilot said over the radio that he was landing to pick us up so he could refuel back at 101 division base. He was running real low on fuel. We didn't see how many Iraqis came out of that bunker; although we had counted up to about 20 of them before we took off.

When we got back to base, the three of us and our pilot began receiving weird congratulations. We weren't sure why. It seems that over 400 Iraqis eventually came out of the bunker, all without a fight.

For the next couple of days every helicopter the 101 had was flying back and forth carrying Iraqi soldiers from the bunker to a forward prisoner-of-war camp. The camp must have been getting pretty crowded. The big thing we realized later was that these actions had kicked off the “Hail Mary” in the ground war because they fixed the Iraqi units on line in front of us, letting our end-runners in the other division make their wide sweep around the main Iraqi force.

A Typical Coalition Desert Storm Leaflet

C26F.jpg (618658 bytes)

C26B.jpg (478879 bytes)

Invitation

Jones and Summe depict this leaflet in their essay. The front depicts right side an Iraqi soldier holding this invitation leaflet surrendering to a Saudi soldier. The next scene at the left depicts three happy Iraqi prisoners feasting at a POW camp beneath a Saudi Arabian flag. A bowl of fruit contains bananas because the Coalition was informed that the Iraqis loved bananas. The back of the leaflet depicts the symbol of the Coalition and the text:

From Headquarters, Joint Forces Command and Theater of Operations:

INVITATION CARD

You are invited to join the Joint Forces and enjoy full Arab hospitality, security, safety and medical care. You will be returned to your homes as soon as the situation that Saddam has placed us in has ended.

My brother Iraqi soldier ... this invitation is open to you and your comrade soldiers. We hope you will accept this invitation as soon as you have the opportunity.

Commander, Joint Forces and Theater of Operations

A larger leaflet was produced and it is believed that 40,000 were dropped on 18 January, and perhaps another 100,000 on 20 and 21 January. A smaller version of the leaflet was prepared and it is believed 60,000 were dropped on 24 February and another 60,000 on 25 February.

An article by Major Robert B. Adolph Jr. entitled “PSYOP: Gulf War Force Multiplier” in the December 1992 issue of Army says about the 9th PSYOP Battalion:

Serving primarily tactical commanders, Active and Reserve Components Loudspeaker Teams were assigned throughout U.S. ground combat forces to provide tactical support for ground units and to persuade Iraqi soldiers to surrender. Loudspeaker teams came from the active component’s 9th and 6th PSYOP Battalions…An entire Iraqi Battalion surrendered to a 1st Cavalry Division helicopter when the attached loudspeaker team broadcast that “Death from above was eminent.”

An operational detachment from the 9th PSYOP Battalion was attached to the 5th Special Forces Group. That group, along with its PSYOP assets was later broken down and attached to Syrian, Egyptian and Kuwaiti ground combat units.

[In 1992] The 9th PSYOP Battalion possesses all the loudspeaker teams currently available in the active component for support of America’s entire ground combat force, including the Marine Corps.

Yugoslavia

KosovoServiceRibbon.PNG (1501 bytes)

OpnAlliedForceMag.jpg (74729 bytes)

Psychological Support to Operation Allied Force

The 4th PSYOP Group published a magazine entitled Psychological Support to Operation Allied Force in 1999. It gave the history of the U.S. PSYOP effort in the war against the ethnic cleansing ordered by the Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic. It regard to the 9th PSYOP Battalion is said in part:

As a result of the escalating Serb atrocities in Kosovo and the Kosovar Albanian refugee crisis, soldiers of the 9th PSYOP Battalion deployed to Tirana, Albania, to serve as part of Task Force Hawk and Joint Task Force Shining Hope, to enhance force protection and provide information to displaced persons housed in refugee camps, as well as to facilitate their resettlement following the cessation of the air campaign.

Although the 6th POB formed the core of the Joint Psychological Operations Task Force (JPOTF) at the Warrior Preparation Center, near Ramstein Air Base, Germany, the 9th POB soldiers augmented the staff of the Product Development Center (PDC). 9th POB soldiers assisted in the development of products in the PDC.

9thPOBLSKosovo002.jpg (154753 bytes) 9thPOBLSKosovo001.jpg (176137 bytes)

PSYOP Loudspeaker Teams in Kosovo

Army Field Manual FM 3-05.302 discusses the advantages and disadvantages of loudspeakers in depth. It says in part:

Loudspeaker operations are an extension of face-to-face communication and can have an immediate impact on a target audience. During combat operations, loudspeakers are the most effective PSYOP medium in high-intensity conflict or civil disorder environments. They can provide immediate and direct contact with a target audience. As a result, tactical PSYOP rely heavily upon loudspeaker operations in high-intensity conflict or civil disorder environments. Loudspeakers transmit speeches, music, or sound effects to the audience. Tapes, minidisks, and CDs are preferred when conducting loudspeaker operations, because of their superior audio quality. Live performers are used whenever the situation necessitates a broadcast that has not been prerecorded.

The advantages of employing loudspeakers should be considered during mission planning, such as flexibility. Loudspeakers give a supported commander the ability to address several target audiences with different messages in a short time. They also allow the supported commander the option of sending the Tactical PSYOP Team in dismounted or mounted.

Through the use of vehicles or rotary-wing aircraft, the supported commander can quickly and effectively maneuver the Tactical PSYOP Team on the battlefield.

Climatic conditions and enemy forces are the most common limiting factors to consider when planning loudspeaker operations. Other limitations include vulnerability to hostile fire. Because of the proximity of Tactical PSYOP Teams to the target audience during loudspeaker broadcasts, hostile fire is a high threat. Tactical PSYOP Teams should make sure this threat is considered when planning all loudspeaker operations. Tactical PSYOP Teams often require security elements with them. Broadcast positions should also be locations that provide as much cover and concealment without compromising the quality or effectiveness of the broadcast. Loudspeakers are affected by weather and terrain. Wind can both adversely and positively affect loudspeaker broadcasts. Wind carries sound if it is blowing in the same direction as the broadcast. If it is blowing in the opposite direction, it will limit the range and effectiveness.

bosnialeaf1a.jpg (33298 bytes)

A Mine Warning Leaflet

The Allies also produced mine-warning leaflets. One depicts seven different explosive devices and has a bright red triangle with the word "Danger." Another shows a child’s foot about to step on a mine or a child about to touch a half-buried mine. The text on the leaflet above is:

Mines and unexploded bombs can kill! Danger! Do not try to handle these explosives; immediately report them to the local military forces.

Bravo Company, 9th PSYOP Battalion deployed one tactical PSYOP Detachment and one Product Development Detachment (PDD) in February 1999 in order to support upcoming operations in Kosovo. The PPD was initially deployed to support the 1st Infantry Division for possible ground operations in Kosovo. This detachment was based in Wuerzburg, Germany and developed products for the ground campaign, concentrating primarily on posters and handbills. These products were designed to enhance the security of U.S. forces in Kosovo, mine awareness programs, the success of U.S. and Allied forces in the goals of halting hostile Yugoslavian actions in Kosovo, refugee control and repatriation operations.

04B02L008Bosnia.jpg (67208 bytes)

Leaflet 04-B-02-L008

A leaflet that uses the photo of a gruff Milosevic has the question on the front:

All the right answers?

The back has a chart with three questions and little boxes where the finder can check “yes” or “no.” The text is:

KOSOVO QUIZ

Tens of thousands of Kosovar refugees all tell similar stories of mass deportation, rape, murder and destruction by Serb authorities. Are they all lying?

If Kosovar refugees are fleeing “NATO aggression,” would they really flee through the mountains to refugee centers in areas protected by NATO?

Are the Serb people willing to risk increasing isolation and economic collapse by supporting Milosevic’s policies in Kosovo-Metohija?

MILOSEVIC ANSWERS “YES” TO ALL THESE QUESTIONS. DOES HE REALLY ANSWER FOR YOU?

This leaflet was coded “Questionnaire.” 2.2 Million of these leaflets were printed and disseminated. I have two varieties of this leaflet. In the first, the red color on the front and the black text on the back are a bit more prominent than in the second. The darker variety is also about 5 mm longer and taller than the lighter version.

In March 1999, Bravo Company was relocated to the Warrior Preparation Center in Germany to become part of the Joint Psychological Operations Task Force. There, its soldiers worked on creating products to decrease support for Slobodan Milosevic and encourage the hostile Yugoslav forces to leave Kosovo.

JTFSHINHOPEReliefSticker.jpg (101139 bytes)

Operation Shining Hope Bumper Sticker

At the end of March and early April 1999 Bravo Company was attached to Joint Task Force Shining Hope. Stickers identifying NATO and U.S. relief efforts were designed and produced by the PDD. These stickers were attached to NATO and U.S. relief packages and also to vehicles working in direct support of refugee operations in Albania.

On 26 April, Bravo Company deployed forward to Tirana, Albania, to begin in-theater operations in support of refugee relief.

In total, soldiers from the 9th PSYOP Battalion compiled over 46 products. The PSYOP products produced by Company B were disseminated daily for a period of six weeks in national newspapers, television and radio mediums.

Allied Force has a Force Structure Chart that states that A Company of the 9th PSYOP Battalion was part of the Product Development Detachment but the unit is not mentioned in the general narration of the campaign against Serbia.

Kosovo19.jpg (18807 bytes)  Kosovo20.jpg (23947 bytes)

Anti-VJ Leaflet 03-K-06-L001

Your Blood…Their Rewards

On 29 May, Pentagon officials announced that the Allies were trying to exploit friction between Yugoslav Army troops and the Interior Ministry Police by exacerbating the situation. 2.7 million copies of this leaflet were dropped with blood red text on the front:

Your blood…Their rewards.

Text on the back of the leaflet is:

Attention VJ Troops! While you endure NATO bombing in the field, low of fuel and supplies, unpaid and past your service obligation, the MUP return home to count the profits from their confiscated "booty." They draw regular pay, use your equipment at your expense, and investigate you for not following their orders. Meanwhile, you have been drafted and forced from your families to wage a war which you know is dishonorable and wrong. The only thing you share is blame for the MUPs atrocities.

The police were considered loyal to President Slobodan Milosevic. They were better equipped and often receive better treatment than their army counterparts. The inequality of treatment created a long-standing animosity between the two services.

During the 78-day bombing campaign, a total of 104.5 million leaflets were dropped. The thousands of Yugoslav Federal Army (VJ) soldiers within Kosovo as well as the civilian population throughout Serbia, were routinely targeted by PSYOP products.

1SGAltamiranoKFOR.jpg (694170 bytes)

First Sergeant Jorge Altamirano

1SG Jorge Altamirano standing next to his Hummer. This was at the reception station in Macedonia. He told me:

We had to put KFOR on our vehicles before we were allowed to convoy to Camp Bondsteel. Since we were not prepared for the KFOR branding, we used paint brushes and white paint. On one vehicle, we had to use masking tape. As you can see, we also had to wear “flack vest,” and the “Fritz” helmet. Our Sergeant Major used to call it “The dome of Obedience.”

Former First Sergeant of A Company of the 9th PSYOP Battalion Jorge Altamirano shared some of his memories of deployment to Kosovo. He pointed out that the 9th PSYOP Battalion was there before the resolution was approved. They were on the front line ready to go forward if Milosevic did not withdraw his troops. Fortunately, Milosevic did withdraw.

KosovoPassoutFlyers001.jpg (669258 bytes)  KosovoPassoutFlyers002.jpg (468587 bytes)

PSYOP Soldiers hand out Leaflets

U.S. forces entered Kosovo in June 1999 with the primary objective of supporting Operations Noble Anvil and Allied Force and bringing peace to that troubled land. Both Noble Anvil and Allied Force are generally the same operation. Noble Anvil was the United States’ contribution to the overall NATO operation, Allied Force. The reason for that is that it is United States policy to not relinquish control of certain strategic assets such as B-52s, stealth aircraft, cruise missiles, and special operations forces. Because of that, a US Joint task force was organized to support NATO.

Kidsand1SGJorge.jpg (538618 bytes)

Jorge and local children:

Kids and Me: I enjoyed going out and seeing the town of Urosavech. The kids were curious about the US Soldiers. However, some kids were not so happy to see us. They would throw rocks at the convoys or drop them from bridges. You always had to be on high alert when going under a bridge.

The task, code named Operation Joint Guardian, proved exceedingly difficult. Entrenched ethnic hatred between Albanians and Serbians continued to fuel the conflict, and the general devastation continued for many weeks.

9thPsyopNorwayKosovo.jpg (50046 bytes)

Members of the 9th PSYOP Bn and the Norwegian Kosovo Force Combat Camera Team discuss operations near Mucibaba, Kosovo prior to the relaxation of the Ground Safety Zone (GSZ). May 23, 2001 (Photo by SSG Bronco A. Suzuki)

The initial concept of operation was to establish a Combined joint task force to support NATO peace enforcement missions in Kosovo; Contract civilian radio and TV stations in Kosovo and neighboring countries to broadcast NATO messages within Kosovo; Contract civilian newspapers and magazines to publish NATO messages in their publications for distribution within Kosovo; and to provide Tactical PSYOP forces to US Multinational Brigade. The regional NATO headquarters (Allied Forces Southern Region) located in Naples Italy essentially ran the air war for NATO.

Task Force Falcon, a brigade-sized task force, was created on 9 June 1999 under the command of Brigadier General Bantz John Craddock using selected elements of Task Force Hawk, sent to Albania to provide support for Operation Allied Force during the Kosovo War. These units were deployed to Camp Able Sentry in Macedonia on that day, and were sent into Kosovo under Operation Joint Guardian, the NATO peacekeeping force in Kosovo, on 11 June.

KFORExplosiveOrdPoster.jpg (253030 bytes)

A Poster to warn citizens about explosions

A Company of the 9th POB deployed to Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, in order to conduct PSYOP in support of the Multinational Brigade East (MNB-E: U.S. Forces) to prepare the population of Kosovo for the introduction of NATO forces, to create support for the operation, reduce civilian interference with MNB-E operations, reinforce existing force protection measures and reinforce acceptance of future operations.

Some of the various programs and missions were:

Crowd control; Evenhanded treatment; no preference; Freedom of movement for all; Information of Military Technical Agreement and Undertaking; Force Protection; a Weapons Turn-In program; a Unity of Effort (working with Russians); Mine awareness campaign; Curb the development of unreasonable expectations of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo; Repatriation of property; Build up faith in KFOR and a Return to normalcy.

One of the radio stations used to support the mission was Radio Ferizaj: It was used to put out PSYOP messages. It sometimes featured U.S. Army guest speakers and generally was very Albanian oriented. It would speak on development, but was eventually taken over by the Public Relations Office. A second station was Radio Gnjilane: It had the same general format but a better mix of population.

KosovoGraffittiFlag002.jpg (299963 bytes)

Local citizens welcome the Americans with graffiti

Tactical PSYOP Company located with the US Brigade at Camp Bondsteel had the missions of print and loudspeaker operations and limited radio production. They were augmented by the 3rd POB printing and communication assets.

9thPOBUnitKosovo03.jpg (1924655 bytes)

A Company, 9th PSYOP Bn Change of Command Ceremony as the 9th was leaving Kosovo

Haiti – Operation Uphold Democracy

ArmedForcesExpeditionRibbon.PNG (14270 bytes)

haiti1a2.jpg (153177 bytes)

The President Aristide Leaflet

The first leaflet dropped before the American intervention into Haiti. It depicts a formal black and white portrait of President Aristide with a Haitian flag in the background. The back of this leaflet has five lines of blue text in Creole:

THE SUN OF DEMOCRACY. THE LIGHT OF JUSTICE. THE WARMTH OF RECONCILIATION WITH THE RETURN OF PRESIDENT ARISTIDE.

The New York Times of 15 September 1994 featured a Reuters photograph of hundreds of the above leaflets showing deposed President Aristide on the streets of an unidentified Haitian city. The caption is, "A U.S. plane dropped leaflets in Haiti supporting the exiled President." The British Broadcasting Company announced on 14 September that two million leaflets were dropped over Port-au-Prince and two other cities asking the population to support the US invasion and demanding the return of Haiti's ousted President Jean-Bertand Aristide.

In December 1990, the people of Haiti elected former priest Jean-Bertrand Aristide as President with 67% of the vote. He took office in February 1991, but the military overthrew him in September of the same year. Joseph Nerette, who held power with the help of the armed forces, replaced him. In June 1992, Marc Bazin, who ruled as Prime Minister, not as president, replaced Nerette. In June 1993, Bazin resigned and the United Nations passed Resolution 970 which imposed an oil and arms embargo aimed at forcing the Haitian military to the negotiating table. As a direct result of the embargo, over 21,000 Haitians left the poverty-stricken country, many attempting to illegally enter the United States.

LSTeamHaitiRoof.JPG (389874 bytes)

Loudspeaker Team in Haiti

General Raoul Cedras, head of the Haitian armed forces, signed an agreement on 3 July 1993, which approved the return of President Aristide by 30 October 1993. These were known as the Governors Island Accords and consisted of 10 statements. On 8 October, the USS Harlan County carrying peacekeepers to help with the transition of power attempted to dock in Port-au Prince. An armed mob turned the ship away.

President Clinton, infuriated, authorized Joint Task Force 180 under the 18th Airborne Corps to develop plans to intervene in Haiti. The political and human rights climate deteriorated as the military sanctioned repression, assassination, torture, and rape to terrorize and control the Haitian people. In May 1994, the military appointed Emile Jonassaint the provisional president. The United Nations and the United States countered this illegal action by introducing United Nations Resolution 917.

HaitiwChildren.jpg (77594 bytes)

PSYOP soldiers conducted face-to-face meetings with the local communities

Plans were made for either a military invasion or a peaceful entry into Haiti. Operations Plan (OPLAN) 2370 was the military offensive with a massive invasion from air and sea with overwhelming force. OPLAN 2380 was developed for a peaceful permissive entry into Haiti. The operation's deployment phase began on 18 September 1994 when the president, through the secretary of defense, issued the order to execute OPLAN 2370.

American troops entered the country peacefully and without bloodshed. The United States military and the multi-national force eventually numbered over 23,000 troops from over a dozen nations. General Cedras and his military staff left Haiti and President Aristide returned on 15 October 1994. The multinational force recovered nearly 33,000 weapons through buybacks, discovering caches, and roadblocks. The flood of refugees from Haiti, 3,000 per day in July 1994, virtually stopped. The United States repatriated more than 13,000 Haitians home.

PatrioticGummedLabelHaiti.jpg (86183 bytes)

Patriotic Gummed Label

In many wars going back to WWII, American PSYOP personnel produced patriotic gummed labels that could be placed on walls or tables or wherever people congregated to pass on the American message. Such a label was prepared in Haiti and given to civilians to place wherever they wanted to show that they believed in the friendship of the United States and Haiti. The small 4 x 4-inch and a second variety which is 3 x 3-inches label show the two flags in full color.

HaitiSolPassLeaflets.jpg (75563 bytes)

A PSYOP Soldier hands out leaflets to civilians in Haiti

We don’t know much about what the 9th PSYOP Battalion did in Haiti. I have few records of their activity. I do know that Company A of the 9th PSYOP Battalion was attached to the 82nd Airborne Division for the take-down mission. Support of the 10th Mountain Division went to Company B, 9th PSYOP Battalion, which assigned Tactical PSYOP Teams (TPT) to Port au Prince and Cape Haitiens. The major American forces involved in the peaceful occupation were from the 18th Airborne Corps and the 10th Mountain Division. The PSYOP units were part of a Joint Psychological Operations Task Force. They included parts of the 4th PSYOP Group, 2nd United States Army Reserve PSYOP Group, 1st PSYOP Battalion, and the 9th PSYOP Battalion.

HaitiTPT09.jpg (87534 bytes)

TPT advised locals to refrain from violence

haitibooklet.jpg (139534 bytes)

PSYOP Support to Operation UPHOLD DEMOCRACY

The 4th PSYOP Group booklet PSYOP Support to Operation UPHOLD DEMOCRACY adds:

Tactical PSYOP Teams would eventually conduct over 760 ground PSYOP missions covering an area from the northern tip of Haiti near Port-de-Paix to the southwestern city of Jeremie. Aerial loudspeaker teams flew 67 missions in support of ground operations, facilitating PSYOP dissemination in the rugged and mountainous regions bordering the Gulf of Gonave and in other denied areas.

haitiloudspeakers.jpg (27218 bytes)

Haiti loudspeaker team

RadioHaitiUpholdDemocracy.jpg (102745 bytes)

The air-dropped Radio for Haiti bought in bulk from Radio Shack

From 13 to 17 December, roughly seven million leaflets were released over Port au Prince, Cap Haitien, and Les Cayes…the Air Force dropped roughly 10,000 radios across parts of Haiti…Both Joint Task Force 180 and 190 incorporated Tactical PSYOP Teams (TPTs) with loudspeakers.

HaitiWeaponsReceipt.jpg (108611 bytes)

Weapons Receipt

Wherever the Americans go there is always a “money for weapons” program. The quickest way to get weapons off the streets and out of the hands of gunmen is to simply buy them. This 5.5 x 8.5-inch cardboard handout is written in Creole on one side and English on the other. When the civilian brings in a weapon the soldier records the time and place and as you can see the payment was 750 gourdes for a handgun, 1500 gourdes for an automatic rifle, etc. On the Haitian-language side the citizens are told to bring in their weapons from 2 to 24 October 1994, from 0800 to 1600 daily.

Port au Prince represented a key area for such units as Brigade PSYOP Support Element (BPSE) 960 from B Company 9th PSYOP Battalion, and BPSE 910 from A Company 9th PSYOP Battalion. On 26 September, BPSE 960 made loudspeaker broadcasts promoting Aristide and the Multi-National Forces and advertising a “weapons for cash” program.

HaitiPlantSeeds.jpg (25377 bytes)

Seed leaflet

A Haitian plants a seed, waters and then sees a healthy tree. The back of this 5.5 x 8.5-inch cardboard handout is blank. The text is:

How do you grow your nation?

Let us all work together so the future of our children can be beautiful.

In the Special Operations History magazine Veritas, Volume 11, No. 1, 2015, Dr. Jared Tracy wrote about Haiti in an article entitled “A True Force Multiplier – Psychological Operations in Operation Uphold Democracy, 1994-1995.” He mentions some of the PSYOP loudspeaker messages:

Encouraged pro-Cedras militants to lay down their arms; Neighborhood crime watch; preventing Haitian-on-Haitian crime violence; political reconciliation; No to violence, no to vengeance, yes to reconciliation; Support Aristide; Turn in you weapons for cash.

Return to Haiti

HumanitarianServiceMedalR.jpg (135670 bytes)

The 9th PSYOP Battalion returned to Haiti once again, this time to help the people in their time of need.

On Tuesday 12 January 2010, at five o’clock in the afternoon, a massive earthquake struck Haiti. It left over 300,000 people dead and more than one million people homeless. More than three million were affected in some way. By 24 January, at least 52 aftershocks measuring 4.5 or greater had been recorded. An estimated three million people were affected by the quake. Death toll estimates range from 100,000 to about 160,000. The earthquake caused major damage in Port-au-Prince, Jacmel and other cities in the region.

More than 20 countries sent military personnel to the country, with Canada, the United States, and the Dominican Republic providing the largest contingents. The supercarrier USS Carl Vinson arrived with 600,000 emergency food rations, 100,000 ten-litre water containers, and an enhanced wing of 19 helicopters; 130,000 liters of drinking water were transferred to shore on the first day.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) realized that an effective method of two-way communication with disaster affected people was needed. Radio and TV broadcasts, posters, leaflet distribution, loudspeaker trucks and face-to-face discussions were all used. The 9th Psychological Operations Battalion met the call.

9thPOBHaiti2010.jpg (208657 bytes)

Members of the 9th PSYOP Battalion along with their equipment flew in a USAF C-17 Globemaster to Port-au-Prince, Haiti in support of the earthquake relief efforts, 27 January 2010. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua L. DeMotts)

HaitiEarthquakeDestruction.jpg (219054 bytes)

The earthquake caused widespread destruction and killed over 300,000 people

The 2010 Haiti earthquake was a catastrophic magnitude 7.0 earthquake, with an epicenter approximately 16 miles west of Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital. The earthquake occurred, 12 January 2010.

9thPOBTarmacHaiti.jpg (240306 bytes)

Nearly 40 members of the 4th Psychological Operations Group's 3rd and 9th Battalions-- depart from Fort Bragg, N.C., Jan. 27 to assist in the ongoing post-earthquake relief efforts in Haiti

EmergencySolarCrankRadioE.jpg (118807 bytes)

Solar/hand-cranked powered radios were given away

The U.S. military delivered 50,000 hand-held radios to Haiti for survivors of the earthquakes. The joint task force distributed the radios to the public. Survivors can use the radios to receive news and important information concerning international relief efforts. The PSYOP troops worked closely with the Haitian government to broadcast public safety messages for survivors on FM frequencies of 92.4 mhz and 104.1 mhz and the AM radio frequency of 1030 khz. The radios were powered by solar energy and hand cranks instead of batteries, a potentially helpful asset to a nation short on basic supplies. The units also have lights and cellphone chargers.

HaitiEmerradioExplained.jpg (282205 bytes)

U.S. soldier explains how to use the solar/hand-cranked radio

The U.S. Southern Command funded and Special Operations Command contracted for the purchase of the 50,000 hand held radios to distribute to the Haitian people. The 9th PSYOP Battalion Military Information Support Team (MIST) in coordination with the U.S. Agency for International Development began distribution of these radios immediately. 60,000 stickers, with the frequencies on them, and 60,000 leaflets that demonstrate (with pictures) how to operate the radio were distributed with the radios. This hand held radio initiative was part of an overall effort to reach the people of Haiti via FM/AM broadcasting of Voice of America programming and Combined Joint Task Force Haiti public service announcements.

HaitiSgtCovas9thPOB.jpg (74150 bytes)

Sergeant Jimmy Covas, C Company, 9th PSYOP Battalion, draws pictures for two Haitian boys while their mother waits in line for the food at a distribution point in Port Au Prince, Haiti. (U.S. Army Photo by MSG Martin Cervantez)

Immediately following the events of 11 September 2001, the Battalion rapidly deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and then in 2003 deployed in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom. The battalion remains engaged at all levels in support of OEF and OIF as well as contingency operations worldwide.

Operation Enduring Freedom

EnduringFreedomRibbon.jpg (2687 bytes)

9thPOBLSConvoysn.jpg (107086 bytes)

Loudspeaker Team accompanies a patrol

On 11 September 2001, terrorists of al-Qaida (the Base), some trained and financed by Saudi Arabian exile-in-hiding Osama bin Laden, attacked the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington DC. On 12 September, the day following the attack, Tactical PSYOP Detachment 940 began target audience analysis of Afghanistan, including the Afghan populace, the Taliban, and al-Qaida. On 4 October 2001 a 95-man Joint Psychological Operations Task Force was activated at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and placed under the operational control of the Central Command. The 9th PSYOP Battalion (sometimes called the “Dissemination battalion” at that time) deployed to Kuwait that same month to support Operation Enduring Freedom.

HeloLS9thPOB.jpg (73963 bytes)

9th POB tactical team pose with helicopter equipped with loudspeakers

On 1 November, the 9th PSYOP Battalion Commander told a staff sergeant to get ready to go to Afghanistan to support the 5th Special Forces Group. Twelve days later Tactical PSYOP Detachment (TPD) 930 was on its way. The team consisted of 13 men from the 9th and a 9-man support element from the 3rd PSYOP Battalion. They were to operate the Deployable Print Production Center that could produce PSYOP products quickly at a forward base.

Somsbbagram.jpg (12394 bytes)

The Special Operations System B (SOMS B) ground-based PSYOP radio in Afghanistan. The DRASH tents attached to the vehicles are the operational areas for the system set up in Bagram.

PSYOP elements were busy setting up radio stations in Afghanistan. One of the radio specialists from Ft. Bragg told me:

The Special Operations System B (SOMS B) was the first ground-based PSYOP asset in Afghanistan. There was a SOMS B in Bagram and one in Kandahar . Initially broadcasting was done on AM and FM. Eventually, all broadcasting was migrated to shortwave (SW). The three short wave radio frequencies are 9325, 9345 and 9365 kHz.The stations broadcast from 0030 to 1830 with the heading in Pashto “Da Sola Radyo day,” and in Dari “Inja Solh-e Radyoe”, (“You are listening to Peace Radio.”)

The antenna field was very crowded in the beginning because all three (AM, FM, and SW) antennas had been set up in the same small area. The AM antenna was a discone antenna supported by four masts, which were only 50 feet off the ground at the highest point.

AFC1058.JPG (102052 bytes)

Hamid Karzai Poster AFC1058

This is a full-sized poster measuring 11 x 17-inches with text in Dari and Pashto. It depicts President Karzai at the left and the Afghan flag at right. The text is:

The major success of Afghanistan is this; that Afghan people despite different political ideas, tribes and personalities consider their country secure and they have returned to rebuild their future.

Interim President Karzai had told the Americans very early that their broadcasts were found wanting. ARSOF in Afghanistan notes:

The Pashtun leader knew that radio broadcasts in various dialects would have a greater effect than leaflets. He had listened to the programs broadcast by the Air Force EC- 130 Commando Solo aircraft and told Major Barstow that the music was very effective, but the BBC and VOA had better-quality programs. Karzai urged Major Barstow (C Company, 9th Psychological Operations Battalion) to make the messages more forceful. The people needed to be told what they should do about the Taliban and al-Qaeda who were still in their midst.

FlagRaisingEF.jpg (18956 bytes)

Ranger Calling Card Leaflet “Freedom Endures”

At 1845 (Zulu Time) on 19 October, 199 elite American Rangers and four PSYOP soldiers night-assaulted Objective Rhino on Vengeance Drop Zone. This was a remote Desert Landing Strip approximately 105 miles Southwest of Kandahar. The site had already been hit with 2,000-pound bombs by a B-2 Stealth bomber and strafed by AC-130 Spectre gunships. This was the first Ranger combat drop since Operation Just Cause in Panama. The mission was to gain intelligence about the objective's airstrip and environs to determine its value as a future base. A week later, U.S. Marines established Camp Rhino at that site. Kandahar was the home of the Taliban spiritual leader, Mullah Omar.

9thPOBweapons.jpg (241115 bytes)

Staff Sergeant (SSG) Joel Tejeda, 9th Psychological Operations Battalion (PSYOP), uncovers a weapon found hidden in a house at Objective Pickett, located in the Paktika province of Afghanistan, during Operation Mountain Sweep. Operation Mountain sweep was the largest US Military offensive in Afghanistan since Operation Anaconda

TPTDiagram.jpg (79556 bytes)

In this article we mention Tactical PSYOP Detachments. This is the makeup of such a team from
the 2005 U.S. Army Field Manual FM 3-05.302

The mission is explored in greater detail in the book ARSOF in Afghanistan. It tells of Tactical PSYOP Detachment (TPD) 940, B Company, 9th PSYOP Battalion (POB) training and rehearsing with the Rangers for five days prior to the operation against the objective they called "Rhino." Four of the Psywarriors jumped from MC-130 Combat Talon aircraft into combat with the Rangers. Some of the text is:

TPD 940 conducted final planning, underwent several inspections, and participated in detailed rehearsals of actions at the objective. Inspections included personnel, weapons, ammunition, and combat equipment as well as PSYOP product scripts and mini-disk copies of the scripts in Urdu, Pashto, and Arabic that would be used during the operation. The 6th Product Development Detachment (PDD) had also prepared leaflets that were to be left on the objective. They were to communicate America’s resolve to stop terrorism and let the enemy know that it had been there.

We set up our loudspeaker and began to broadcast our first message. It told anyone in the area that U.S. forces were present and they need to exit the buildings, stay away from the airfield, drop any weapons, and get down on the ground if they wanted to survive. We played the message for about 5 minutes.

We were told to assist in searching the building for any intelligence and weapons, and to be watchful for booby traps. We found a Soviet RPK machine gun with a belt of ammo in the feed tray, expended shell casings, belt links on the ground, a rocket-propelled grenade launcher with 10 to 12 rounds nearby, and two AK-47 assault rifles. The rooms had articles of clothing strewn about, mattresses and bedding, and other personal effects. After collecting the weapons, we distributed about 400 leaflets in and around the building.

SP4AdamMcDaniel9thPOB.JPG (108602 bytes)

A Loudspeaker Operation

US Army Specialist Adam McDaniel, Alpha/Company, of the 9th PSYOP Battalion, sets up a loudspeaker system in order to broadcast non-civilian interference messages to the local people in the town of Narizah, Afghanistan, during Operation Mountain Sweep, part of ongoing operations in Afghanistan conducted in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

AFD06Color.jpg (159524 bytes)

Radio Leaflet AFD06

This leaflet depicts a radio tower and two radios. Text is identical on both sides in Pashto and Dari. The leaflet states:

Information radio.
0500-1000. 1700-2200 daily.
864, 1107, 8700 kilohertz.

The leaflet tells the Afghan finder what radio stations to dial in order to hear the latest news from the coalition forces. Part of the PSYOP plan was to tell the Afghan people why their country was being bombed. The radio broadcasts stress that this is simply a war against terrorism and not against the people of Afghanistan. The Taliban's main Kabul radio station, Voice of Sharia, (“Islamic Law”), was taken off the air by an American cruise missile several days earlier.

SGTKrisBaker9thPOB.jpg (197205 bytes)

U.S. Army Sergeant Kris Baker, Alpha Company, 9th PSYOP Battalion, allows the village elder of a refugee camp located near Kandahar, Afghanistan, to use the loudspeaker to tell refugees that coalition forces are at the camp to provide medical and humanitarian assistance, during Operation Enduring Freedom.

Weapon of Choice continues: After the fall of Mazar-e-Sharif, Team 922, A Company, 9th PSYOP Battalion, was the first PSYOP team to reach the town. They unloaded loudspeakers and played tapes in Pashto and Dari. One of the staff sergeants met an Afghan woman who had one of the American airdropped transistor radios. She told him that it was the first radio she had heard in seven years. The team requested more radios for the residents of the town…Broadcast media proved very effective during the PSYOP campaign. More than 7,500 small battery-powered transistor radios were distributed both by airdrop and by hand. Simple leaflets told the Afghan people which numbered channels to tune to for the American-produced PSYOP programs. The Afghans loved the programs because it was the first time in six years they had been able to listen to music. Feedback indicated that the PSYOP leaflets and radio broadcasts were important contributors to the Afghan population withdrawing its support from the Taliban and al-Qaida.

Operation Iraqi Freedom

OpnIraqiFreedomRibbon.png (4290 bytes)

9thPOBCharlieCoIraqApr03.jpg (308780 bytes)

Charlie Company, 9th PSYOP Battalion – April 2003

TrackVehicleLS.jpg (52212 bytes)

9th POB Tactical PSYOP Team sit on top of a loudspeaker equipped track vehicle

TPTPatrolBaghdad002.jpg (275188 bytes)

Tactical PSYOP Team patrols the streets of Baghdad's Karada District countering Muqtada al-Sadr supporters

Soldiers from the 9th Psychological Operations Battalion (Airborne) deployed to Iraq in July of 2006. Company C, 9th Psychological Operations Battalion was at that time only tactical psychological operations company and the only US Army Special Operations Command company-sized element deployed for almost 15 months. The Company served with the II Marine Expeditionary Force, Multi-National Force-West and played a pivotal role in shaping the battle space and facilitating the transition of Al Anbar from the haven of the insurgency to a model province with significant declines in violence. Elements of Company C began returning from the deployment in October 2007.

Soldiers from the 9th Psychological Operations Battalion (Airborne) deployed to Iraq in Company C, 9th Psychological Operations Battalion was at that time only tactical psychological operations company and the only US Army Special Operations Command company-sized element deployed for almost 15 months. The Company served with the II Marine Expeditionary Force, Multi-National Force-West and played a pivotal role in shaping the battle space and facilitating the transition of Al Anbar from the haven of the insurgency to a model province with significant declines in violence. Elements of Company C began returning from the deployment in October 2007.

IZD001FArabicP.jpg (160977 bytes)

IZD001FEnglishP.jpg (183921 bytes)

IZD-001

IZD-001 is an information radio leaflet. It depicts a map of Iraq at the center and radio towers at left and right. The same message appears on both front and back. The text is:

Information Radio - “756 KHZ AM, 693 KHZ AM , 9715 KHZ SW, 11292 KHZ SW, and 100.4 MHZ FM, 1800-2300 Daily.

9thPassesoutRadioLeaflets.jpg (403614 bytes)

Radio Leaflet Dissemination

A Charlie Company, 9th PSYOP Battalion soldier hands out leaflets to Iraqi civilians providing information about where they can hear information on the radio.

IZD027FArabic.jpg (469029 bytes)

Leaflet IZD027

IZD027 was dropped a number of times during the no-fly zone operations over Iraq. It depicts school children visiting the Shaheed (Martyr’s Monument) at the front-right of the full-color leaflet. This quarter-billion dollar blue-tile monument commemorates the Iraqi dead in the Iraq-Iran war. At the left of the leaflet, Coalition jets are shown firing rockets at Iraqi tanks hiding near the monument. The text on the front of the leaflet is:

The Coalition will destroy and viable targets.

The Coalition does not wish to destroy your landmarks.

Text on the back of the leaflet is:

Coalition forces do not wish to harm the noble people of Iraq. To insure your safety, avoid areas occupied by military personnel.

All Roads lead to Baghdad, USASOC History Office, Ft. Bragg, NC, says about the 9th PSYOP Battalion in Operation Iraqi Freedom:

Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-West’s PSYOP support came from B Company, 9th Psychological Operations Battalion. B Company faced a daunting task. Organized to support one task force, it found itself with the mission to support two, each with a different focus and located hundreds of miles apart. To add to the situation, the company was understrength. To support Task Force Dagger, B Company became a multi-component unit (Active and Reserve Forces together) with a Coalition element attached…The remainder of the company, primarily the tactical PSYOP teams, deployed in late January and joined Forward Operating Bases 52 and 53 in Kuwait.

9HumveeSaddamsArmsIraq.jpg (31678 bytes)

A Tactical PSYOP Team from the 9th PSYOP Battalion under “Saddam’s Arms”

The Arc of Triumph or Hands of Victory are a pair of triumphal arches in central Baghdad, Iraq. Each arch consists of a pair of hands holding crossed swords. The two arches mark the two entrances to Great Celebrations square and the parade ground constructed to commemorate Saddam’s “Victory” in the Iran-Iraq war. The arches, which were based on a concept sketch made by president Saddam Hussein used photographs and plaster casts of Saddam's forearms to model for the design of the hands. The arms rest on concrete plinths which make the arms appear to burst up out of the ground. Each plinth holds 2,500 helmets which, Saddam claimed, belonged to Iranian soldiers killed during the war; they are held in nets which spill them onto the ground beneath.

IZL006.jpg (41673 bytes)

Australian Leaflet IZL-006

Australian leaflet IZL-006 depicts Coalition armor, helicopters, and vehicles on the front. The text in Arabic is:

Coalition forces are here. Coalition forces will outnumber you. Leave now. You cannot win.

The back depicts a dead Iraqi at top and a destroyed building at bottom. Text on the back is:

Leave this area now. You do not have the capability to fight Coalition forces. If you resist, you will die.

To support the Southern mission, the company’s Product Development Center deployed to Kuwait. With only one such center in the company, additional support came from an Australian Army Product Development Team. The four-man team’s more advanced printing equipment could produce leaflets faster that the American equipment could.

SFCDainChristensen9thPOB.JPG (83364 bytes)

Coalition Posters in Mosul

Sergeant First Class Dain Christensen, of Charlie Company, 9th Psychological Operations (PSYOP) Battalion out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina, places anti-terrorist posters over graffiti in Mosul, Iraq on August 16, 2004. PSYOP is patrolling this area of Mosul to battle false propaganda put out by Anti-Iraqi forces. 9th POB are in Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

All Roads lead to Baghdad continues:

In the southern area of operations, C Company, 9th PSYOP Battalion moved north with the 3rd Infantry Division.

IZG785b.jpg (19807 bytes)

Leaflet IZG785b

Leaflet IZG785b depicts Saddam Hussein behind bars. The text is:

Saddam Hussein has been captured

The capture of Saddam Hussein is the decisive moment for the new Iraq.

Now he will face the justice that millions were denied.

Iraq need no longer be afraid of Saddam ruling again

We end this section with one of a series of leaflets showing Saddam behind bars. The Coalition was not gloating. The Iraqi people feared the return of Saddam so it was important to show them that the old dictator was not making a return to power.

9thPOB0065LS.jpg (292457 bytes)

PSYOP Humvee drives down Al-Sadoon street in Baghdad warning Iraqis to stay off the street.

In June 2009, Michelle Butzgy wrote an article in Paraglide entitled “Fort Bragg Soldiers work at winning hearts and minds around the world.” She said about the 9th Battalion:

Sergeant Patrick Vegan of the 9th PSYOP Battalion said:

The 9th PSYOP Battalion, currently assigned to the 75th Ranger Regiment, has the job of being a liaison between ground forces commanders and the general public of any country they deploy to. We advise the commander on certain ethical, cultural things that they need to be aware of in order to properly do their missions. The 75th Ranger Regiment is a strictly kinetic force, so they're going for high value targets and specific people. We assist them by making sure that the general populations in that building or surrounding buildings are awake and know what is going on.

By letting everyone know what is happening by 'filling the information void' before the action will dispel the rumors that enemy propagandists spread and try to turn the population against U.S. Soldiers. We have interpreters that go in and talk to the neighboring people, the people across the street and people in the house. We also influence them by using loudspeaker systems. We also hand out posters out to the population. We put a face on the mission. Lately, we have Iraqi army and police give out products and they're actually doing the talking. We put the Iraqi face on the mission so they're starting to see their country is taking control so they believe their country is doing the right thing, it's not just us pushing it.

Aco9thPOBMarch2007.jpg (821145 bytes)

A Company, 9th PSYOP Battalion - March 2007 at Fort Bragg

9th PSYOP Battalion Awards and Decorations

MeritoriousUnitAwardRibbon.JPG (175709 bytes)

USArmyMeritUnitCommendCR.PNG (2218 bytes)

Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army) for Southwest Asia 1990-1991

Company B was awarded:

SuperiorUnitRibbon.PNG (19286 bytes)

ArmySuperiorUnitCR.PNG (2248 bytes)

The Army Superior Unit Award for 1995-1996

Company C was awarded:

NavyUnitCommendationRibbon2.JPG (17201 bytes)

NavyUnitCommendationCR.PNG (2261 bytes)

Navy Unit Commendation for I Marine Expeditionary Force, 28 February 2006 to 9 February 2007

 

SWAsiaServiceArmyBattleCR.png (2758 bytes)

Southwest Asia: Defense of Saudi Arabia; Liberation and Defense of Kuwait

PresidentialUnitCitationRibbon.PNG (17698 bytes)

PresidentialUnitCitationCR.PNG (2176 bytes)

Presidential Unit Citation (Army) for IRAQ 2003

The Battalion’s Campaign Participation Credit includes:

SWAsiaServiceArmyBattleCR.png (2758 bytes)

Southwest Asia: Defense of Saudi Arabia; Liberation and Defense of Kuwait

This ends our very short look at the history of the United States Army’s 9th PSYOP Battalion, a unit that has deployed to numerous nations to support legal governments and fight anti-government guerrillas and armed enemies of the United States for over 50 years. Readers who wish to comment or send further information are encouraged to write the author at Sgmbert@hotmail.com.